Considering The Great Gatsby, who do you think is a modern day Jay Gatsby?Considering The Great Gatsby, who do you think is a modern day Jay Gatsby?

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missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A modern-day Jay would have Jay's character traits. You need to find someone who will commit the acts Jay would.

Imagine these characteristics for choosing your current day character:

1. APPEARS DIFFERENT ON THE OUTSIDE FROM HIS REALITY INSIDE: Jay gives every idea that he is a gentleman. But, regularly Nick catches him in lies. His dealings with "Chicago" and "Detroit" when the phone rings suggest that he has something to do with the boot-legging industry of the era, an illegal act. His connections to Meyer Wolfsheim further support this premise.  

2. WILL STOOP TO ANY LEVEL TO GET WHAT HE WANTS: Jay wants Daisy. He spends five years of intense commitment to developing a lifestyle that would be worthy of her. Then, he will stop at nothing, not destroying marriages or commiting murder, to get what he wants.

To me, this sounds like a stereotypical politician, or even a highly successful CEO who has protected his interests. I would suggest looking at some of these who have been in the spotlight for a wrongdoing and then they claim their innocence burying a problem.

e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I can't top the third post here, and I'm guessing no one can...but I think of Jaoquim Phoenix as one answer here. He was an actor who discovered that it was possible for him to become a musician. This revelation of possibility seems similar to Gatsby's realization that he really could go out and get what he wanted from the world.

There are many examples of people in a position of celebrity, and those who have risen to fame on the power of a particular cause, who have been discovered to have secrets which completely contradict the public image associated with them.

lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Anyone who thinks that his or her money (especially "new" money) will bring them happiness or influence could be a modern-day Jay Gatsby.  The above post mentions a couple of musicisns, but I think there are lots of Hollywood types who could fall into this category. Why is Angelina Jolie a U.N. goodwill ambassador?  Why does Bono preach about how soceity should behave?  Oprah Winfrey?  I would never discount the good that these people have done for others, but it also strikes me as self-serving.

Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There was an EXCELLENT hour on NPR a few weeks ago discussing this very topic. One of the scholars argued that modern rappers, like Jay-Z and Diddy are much like Gatsby. 

Here is the link to the podcast. You should check it out!

Read the study guide:
The Great Gatsby

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